Sidenote: Where does Davido go from here?

*Davido is a YNaija Person of the Year 2012 finalist

by ‘Demola Adesina

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of Davido or his style of music.

I have in fact been called a ‘Davido Hater’ despite a predilection for his songs: ‘Back Then’, ‘Dami Duro’and ‘Ekuro’. But you see that’s what makes Davido special – his critics find themselves time and again, appreciating his art.

So let’s take an unpaid leave together from our positions as haters.

We know the arguments – how Davido does not deserve to be on this list with the greats; how he isn’t extraordinarily talented; how he was able to achieve all of this because of his father’s wealth and position; how he is just an arrogant 20-year-old always at giving or receiving ends of slaps; or even how he strays and strays again into the arms of groupies who love to take his naked pictures. We all know the stories.

[Read ‘YNaija Editorial: Aliko Dangote is YNaija Person of the Year 2012… Let’s tell you whyHERE]

But then, there are other stories we refuse to tell ourselves. We ignore the story of a determined teenager who graced at least 5 of the top radio of this past year. We ignore the story of the hardworking young man who works so hard on his craft he is always almost working. We ignore the story of a 19-year-old who has built an enviable music empire.

But he is rich, may cry. Rich!

And so what? Davido is not special because his father is rich; he is special because he is a commercial success in spite of his father’s wealth – and a multiple-award-winning commercial success at that. Even more exquisitely to the point, he wasn’t pushed to the studio and to so much hard work because of a fear of poverty. Clearly, this was a young man hungry only for greatness.

This is not the average 19-year-old ‘Omo baba olowo’ (rich kid) content with partying from Atlanta to Seychelles on daddy’s bill; this is a young man who realized his passion early, poured heart and resources into it, and amassed a retinue of friends, family and associates to build his dream.

I find that endlessly inspiring.

Our generation is in dire need of people who can discover their dreams and follow them at whatever cost. We need people, rich or poor, who will not wait for what life throws at them but who will go out of their comfort zone, and create something special.

In that sense, we need more Davidos.

So yes, he may yet have a lot to learn about life. Well, who doesn’t? And yes, he will need urgently to improve on his craft. But, don’t we all?

At this moment at least, the only person who can stop Davido, forgive the cliché, is Davido himself.

And for this, I – like many others – have some advice he must have heard before: like any wildly successful brand, he must face the challenges of substance and constant re-invention head-on. He must urgently improve on his lackluster performances and put some thought into his stage-craft.

Hard work and ambition will not be enough at this point – as he approaches greatness.

For his sake, we hope his quiet of the past two months has been one of deep reflection and solid strategy. If he doesn’t have in his possession a grand plan at this point, then it is entirely possible that the naysayers will be proved right – and this David will soon become a flash in the plan.

Even if that were the case, he has slayed more Goliaths in the past two years, than many will in a lifetime or two.

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